Without doubt, the biggest tie of the EFL Cup Semi Final round is taking place at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night as Chelsea host Arsenal. These two sides played out a stunning 2-2 draw last week in a real whirlwind encounter and if Wednesday’s game is anywhere near as exciting as that one then we could be in for a real treat. Both managers will be hoping to get back to winning ways after disappointing results in the FA Cup this weekend, so expect a full blooded encounter on Wednesday.
When: 7:45PM, Wednesday, January 10th, 2018
Where: Stamford Bridge, London, England
Chelsea were disappointing during their 0-0 draw with Norwich in their last match with Michy Batshuayi and Alvaro Morata both failing to find the net. Conte will have been concerned with Morata’s poor finishing during the recent game against Arsenal, but I’m expecting the Spaniard to come back into the starting line up for Wednesday’s game after starting on the bench against Norwich. Ross Barkley is free to make his debut for Chelsea after his £15m transfer from Everton, but considering how long he has been out injured, I wouldn’t expect him to start.
Arsene Wenger named a much changed team for their FA Cup match with Nottingham Forest on Sunday, but he will have been extremely disappointed with their performance during an embarrassing 4-2 defeat. The defeat means that Arsenal will not be able to retain the cup which they won last season and it is now just one win in their last five games for the North London club. I’d expect Wenger to bring back his big hitters for this game, so expect the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil to return to the starting line up.
- Alvaro Morata has scored 12 times this season, but has found the net just once in his last 5 games.
- Arsenal are facing something of a mini crisis now that they are out of the FA Cup and also sliding further behind Liverpool in the race for a top 4 finish.
- Both teams will have felt that they could have won last week’s 2-2 draw between these two sides and I’d expect both teams to have a real go on Wednesday.
These two sides looked pretty evenly matched when they met last week, but at home you’d expect Chelsea to come out on top. Arsenal have been very poor on the road in the Premier League this season, winning just four of their 11 games away from The Emirates. Chelsea had plenty of chances to win last week’s game between these two sides and I think Antonio Conte will be confident of gaining a first leg advantage on Wednesday night.
Betting Tips (Coral)
Chelsea start this game as 4/5 favourites, whilst an away win for Arsenal is priced up at 17/5, with the draw available at 27/10. I do fancy Chelsea to win this one and the 4/5 available on them represents a pretty decent value bet in my opinion. Chelsea to win and BTTS at 12/5 represents a good bet too, especially when you consider all of the chances in last week’s game between these two sides.
Chelsea to Win and BTTS – 12/5 (Coral)